I’m rooting for Huddy and the Royals. Mostly I’m rooting for a helluva game.
For Braves fans, the words Game 7 call to mind the agony of defeat in ’91 World Series. followed by the thrill of victory in the ’92 NLCS.
The “other” Game 7s are somewhat forgotten, but, unlike so many other October moments, warmly remembered.
Game 7, 1991 NLCS
There was an air of inevitably about this game, one apparently shared by Pirates fans. Only 46,932 turned out for Game 7, about 10,000 shy of capacity. I’m not sure why they were so defeated. Yes, the Braves won a thriller in Game 6 behind Steve Avery’s second combined shutout of the series. But the Bucs had won the two previous games, 1-0 and 3-2, in Atlanta and had 20-game winner John Smiley on the mound vs. Smoltzie.
Maybe the pessimism can be traced to Smiley’s poor performance in Game 3, when the Braves knocked him out in the 3rd inning. Turns out it was well-placed, thanks to a Brian Hunter homer that put the Braves up 3-0 in the first. Consecutive singles by Orlando Merced and Jay Bell made us a little nervous, but Smoltz put that rally to rest en route to the Braves’ second straight shutout.
Game 7, 1996 NLCS
Winning a championship the year before gave Braves fans something we haven’t felt since: confidence in October. It was shaken a bit when the Cards won Games 2, 3 and 4 but restored after a 14-0 rout in Game 5. That was followed by vintage Maddux in Game 6, a 3-1 Braves win.
As in ’91, the game was over after the 1st. A bases-clearing triple by Tom Glavine put the dagger in Donovan Osborne’s heart.